How And Where Was The First Man On Earth Born?
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The exact origin of modern humans has long been a topic of debate. The first humans emerged in Africa around two million years ago, long before the modern humans known as Homo sapiens appeared on the same continent.
There are a lot of anthropologists who still don’t know about how different groups of humans interacted and mated with each other over this long stretch of prehistory. Thanks to new archaeological and genealogical research, they’re starting to fill in some of the blanks.
Where did we come from?
Modern humans (Homo sapiens), the species? that we are, means ‘wise man’ in Latin. Our species is the only surviving species of the genus Homo but where we came from has been a topic of much debate. Modern humans originated in Africa within the past 200,000 years and evolved from their most likely recent common ancestor, Homo erectus, which means ‘upright man’ in Latin. Homo erectus is an extinct species of human that lived between 1.9 million and 135,000 years ago.
Historically, two key models have been put forward to explain the evolution? of Homo sapiens. These are the ‘out of Africa’ model and the ‘multi-regional’ model. The ‘out of Africa’ model is currently the most widely accepted model. It proposes that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa before migrating across the world.
On the other hand, the ‘multi-regional’ model proposes that the evolution of Homo sapiens took place in a number of places over a long period of time. The intermingling of the various populations eventually led to the single Homo sapiens species we see today.
This is still very much an area of active research, however, current genomic evidence supports a single ‘out-of Africa’ migration of modern humans rather than the ‘multi-regional’ model. Although, studies of the genomes? of the extinct hominids Neanderthals and Denisovans suggest that there was some mixing of genomes (1-3 per cent) with humans in Europe and Asia. This interbreeding between two previously separated populations is called ‘admixture’ and results in a mixing of genes? between the populations.
The First Humans
First things first: A “human” is anyone who belongs to the genus Homo (Latin for “man”). Scientists still don’t know exactly when or how the first humans evolved, but they’ve identified a few of the oldest ones.
One of the earliest known humans is Homo habilis, or “handy man,” who lived about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago in Eastern and Southern Africa. Others include Homo rudolfensis, who lived in Eastern Africa about 1.9 million to 1.8 million years ago (its name comes from its discovery in East Rudolph, Kenya); and Homo erectus, the “upright man” who ranged from Southern Africa all the way to modern-day China and Indonesia from about 1.89 million to 110,000 years ago.
In addition to these early humans, researchers have found evidence of an unknown “superarchaic” group that separated from other humans in Africa around two million years ago. These superarchaic humans mated with the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans, according to a paper published in Science Advances in February 2020. This marks the earliest known instance of human groups mating with each other—something we know happened a lot more later on.
Controversy over the birthplace of the first man on Earth
The first man we know evolved and evolved from apes, but there is also debate about where the first man was born or where he originated. Compared to say that today the place of birth of man cannot be determined, in our science, it was once believed that the human race originated in Europe, especially in Western Europe, but scientist later warned that the study found that humans descended from apes when the trunk split, it was not in Europe, but in Africa, but some say it was in Europe. ASIAN.
In 2017, paleontologist Jean-Jacques Hublin made a discovery that reframed the story of humankind.
Since the 1980s, Hublin had studied peculiar fossils found in a cave in a desolate, mountainous region of Morocco in far-north Africa. The remains showed flat faces that looked remarkably like us — more so than our Neanderthal cousins. Their enlarged lower jaws and teeth along with elongated brain cases suggested they were of a primitive species that lived some 150,000 – 200,000 years ago. This age did not fit the pattern of previous discoveries, or the prevailing visions of how our story began.
As the oldest find at Omo-Kibosh was in Eastern Africa, where modern humans were believed to have began, it did not make sense for another human from the same time period to be dug up on another side of the continent.
So, when tests in 2017 dated Hublin’s discoveries in Morocco to 300,000 years ago, the paleontologist was left stunned. “It was a big wow,” he says. “I expected something older than 200,000, or I had hoped for something older, but not that old. It led us to completely reconsider the story of the evolution of our species.”
Disputed Origin Story
It is believed the human species split off from their oldest living ancestors, apes, around 6 million years ago to form H. sapiens. Modern humans then split from Neanderthals around 300,000 to 600,000 years ago. And 40,000 years ago, we began spreading from Africa to the rest of the globe. But the true origin of modern humans is bitterly contentious.
Pinpointing the place from which we steadily evolved into the strange, upright, oversized brain creatures we are today would help explain not only how we became the world’s dominant animal, but also the lone surviving variant of our species.
In 2019 a group of researchers led by Vanessa Hayes, a geneticist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the University of Sydney in Australia, came up with an answer.
The group studied linguistics, computer simulations of previous climates, and modern mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). They examined DNA from 200 living people of different groups and compared it to mtDNA in databases from more than 1,000 other Africans, mostly from southern Africa.
They discovered that the oldest mtDNA lineage found today is in speakers of Khoisan, a language used by foragers and hunter-gatherers in Namibia and South Africa. As the lineage is found only in living people in southern Africa, the study concluded that they are the ancestral population of all living humans.
Our ancestral homeland was traced back to a region south of the Zambezi River in northern Botswana, once a luscious, green area bordering enormous lakes. The study finally answered one of the eternal questions — Where do we come from? — and made headlines around the world.
Its conclusion, however, has not been warmly accepted by experts in the field.
Are Neanderthals our cousins or ancestors?
Homo neanderthalis, or Neanderthals as they are more often known, are an extinct species of humans that was widely distributed in ice-age Europe and Western Asia between 250,000 and 28,000 years ago. They were characterized as having a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges. In 1856 the first Neanderthal fossil was discovered in the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf in Germany. Since then, researchers have been striving to uncover the position of Homo neanderthalis in modern human evolution. Homo neanderthalis appeared in Europe about 250,000 years ago and spread into the Near East and Central Asia. They disappeared from the fossil record about 28,000 years ago.
Their disappearance has been put down to competition from modern humans, who expanded out of Africa at least 125,000 years ago (100,000-year-old remains of modern humans have been found in Israel), suggesting that there would have been a period of co-existence. Did the two species interbreed? Have Neanderthal genes, therefore, contributed to the modern human genome?
Initial studies of DNA from the mitochondria of Neanderthals showed that their mitochondrial DNA looks quite different from that of modern humans, suggesting that Homo neanderthalis and Homo sapiens did not interbreed.
Migration and the Peopling of the Earth: How and why?
Between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens began migrating from the African continent and populating parts of Europe and Asia. They reached the Australian continent in canoes sometime between 35,000 and 65,000 years ago.
Scientists studying land masses and climate know that the Pleistocene Ice Age created a land bridge that connected Asia and North America (Alaska) over 13,000 years ago. A widely accepted migration theory is that people crossed this land bridge and eventually migrated into North and South America.
How were our ancestors able to achieve this feat, and why did they make the decision to leave their homes? The development of language around 50,000 years ago allowed people to make plans, solve problems, and organize effectively. We can’t be sure of the exact reasons humans first migrated off of the African continent, but it was likely correlated with a depletion of resources (like food) in their regions and competition for those resources. Once humans were able to communicate these concerns and make plans, they could assess together whether the pressures in their current home outweighed the risk of leaving to find a new one.
Darwin's theory of evolution questions
The appearance of the first man on earth is explained above through the theory of evolution, but some people are questioning Darwin's theory of evolution. "Heart", that is, there are people who do not think that Darwin's theory of evolution can convince human evolution, but are more inclined to the hypothesis that other human species appear, so now stand from a scientific point of view. Darwin's theory of evolution is consistent with human evolution and can explain and find out how the first humans appeared.
Even today, scientists have discovered that humans are in a process of continuous evolution. There is nothing wrong with Darwin's theory of evolution. Example: Scientists have discovered a change in the middle artery, which has increased in the forearm since the late 19th century, a small change but a sign that evolution is happening.
Human Evolution Was Messy
Scientists are still figuring out when all this inter-group mating took place. Modern humans may have mated with Neanderthals after migrating out of Africa and into Europe and Asia around 70,000 years ago. Apparently, this was no one-night stand—research suggests there were multiple encounters between Neanderthals and modern humans.
Less is known about the Denisovans and their movements, but research suggests modern humans mated with them in Asia and Australia between 50,000 and 15,000 years ago.
Until recently, some researchers assumed people of African descent didn’t have Neanderthal ancestry because their predecessors didn’t leave Africa to meet the Neanderthals in Europe and Asia. But in January 2020, a paper in Cell upended that narrative by reporting that modern populations across Africa also carry a significant amount of Neanderthal DNA. Researchers suggest this could be the result of modern humans migrating back into Africa over the past 20,000 years after mating with Neanderthals in Europe and Asia.
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